Top Reasons Why Getting a Dog Can Improve Your Mental Health 

Dogs come with a lot of responsibilities. You’ll need to ensure they’re always well-fed and have a comfortable place to sleep. You’ll need to invest time and effort into training them. You’ll need to handle the daily walks, the potty breaks, the vet visits, and so much more.

But in return, you’ll get a friend for life. In return, you’ll get a furbaby that can significantly impact your overall well-being.

Learn how getting a dog can impact your mental health and help you battle stress, anxiety, and depression.

four dogs on park

Spending time with dogs can lower your stress hormones

Truth be told, dogs can occasionally increase your stress hormones. Potty training, for instance, can get pretty stressful quickly, especially if you have no prior experience. Seeing your pup in dog leg braces after an accident, leaving them with a pet sitter for the first time, and having them escape from their leash – all stress inducers that can quickly increase your production of cortisol.

However, you won’t find yourself facing these situations every day.

What you’ll find yourself doing every day when you have a dog is playing with them, petting them, sprawling on the couch with them, and laughing at their quirky little antics.

What’s great about all of this is that it doesn’t just briefly improve your mood or put a quick smile on your face. It reduces your production of cortisol and increases your production of the so-called “happiness hormones” – serotonin and dopamine. Even just a brief interaction with your dog can help you relax, calm your nerves, and improve your mental health.

Dogs can help you develop healthy habits

Regardless of the dog’s size, whether we’re talking about tiny Chihuahuas or the giant Great Danes, they will need daily walks. Even if you have a large backyard where they could run around all day every day, they’ll need to go on frequent walks outside of it.

After all, visiting new environments provides them with some much-needed mental stimulation and physical exercise. Not to mention that leash walking can increase trust between you and your pup and strengthen your bond.

While daily walks are certainly beneficial to your dog, they’re also beneficial to you. Long daily walks can improve your cardiovascular health, increase muscle endurance, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Not to mention that spending more time outside and in nature can help you feel more relaxed and calm.

Moreover, it’s not just walks with your dog that will benefit your well-being. Your dog can help you develop healthier habits overall – increasing your physical activity levels, helping you get up in the morning, and even reminding you of the importance of self-care.

You can’t take good care of your dog unless you take good care of yourself first.

They can help you feel less lonely

There’s a reason why most dog owners consider their furbabies as part of the family. Dogs are excellent companions who give you their unconditional love. Even when they’re not working as certified emotional support animals, they provide emotional support just by being by your side.

They’re perhaps the best cure to loneliness – it’s no wonder why they’re categorized as a “man’s best friend”.

However, it’s not just dogs themselves that can help you feel less lonely. As a dog owner, you’ll need to spend much more time outside the house. You’ll need time and effort to properly socialize your dog, introduce them to other dogs, and help them build positive relationships with other animals.

In doing so, you’ll also have to spend more time around other people. You’ll get to join the larger community of dog owners, make new connections, and meet new friends. It’s a win-win both for your dog and for you.

Dogs can help you sleep better

Sleep is essential to your mental and physical health. Those who suffer from insomnia are more likely to develop anxiety or depression. They’re more likely to develop cardiovascular issues, suffer from kidney disease, and have problems with obesity. They’re even at a greater risk of suffering from a stroke.

Insomnia impacts every aspect of your life, affecting your mood, appearance, eating habits, work performance, and more. Therefore, improving the quality of your sleep is critical for your overall well-being.

Fortunately, having a dog in your room can work wonders for your sleep. A dog can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. They can offer support and relieve your anxieties. They can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

You don’t even have to co-sleep with your dog in the same bed to enjoy these benefits. For most dog owners, it’s enough to simply have the dog in the room during the night.

Final thoughts

Having a dog can positively impact your mental and physical health, helping you alleviate stress and anxieties, build positive relationships with others, and develop healthier habits. It can even improve the quality of your sleep. As long as you’re a responsible dog owner, you can enjoy numerous benefits and gain a furry friend for life.

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